SEPTEMBER 28, 2018, US HOUSE HALLWAY
CNF REPORTER EDDIE HARRIS LIVE REMOTE
EDDIE HARRIS (EH): Congresswoman Torres? Got a few minutes?
TORRES (T): Hello, Eddie! What brings you over here? The action is in the other building.
EH: Yes, it is, but I am canvassing to get reaction to the Kavanaugh hearing and investigation… Surely you see this as a seminal moment in Washington politics. You haven’t publicly endorsed the ME TOO movement, some would say conspicuously so, so… where are you on this?
T: About ME TOO… it isn’t codified in a plan, or even a motto. It’s an emotion, a good one, but it needs… leadership. Not screaming.
EH: Surely you see someone like Dr. Ford as a credible victim? She was 15 years old, c’mon!
T: Yeah. And he was 17. And there’s no proof, no legitimate corroboration. But, yes, she is credible.
EH: So it’s okay not to believe her? Not to recognize that men can commit sexual assault?
T: Whoa, whoa, Mr. Harris. I have never said or implied that… you have. Look, women have always been objectified. I am never going to say we ask for it. That's nonsense. But at least recognize that our society, all societies in western culture, praise and admire beauty in all its forms.
EH: You don’t think sexual assault is admiration…
T: Of course not. I have been subjected to terrible behavior by men. Some, some of it was sexualized, but much of it was because I am physically small. There are bad people out there. But just because I have been victimized, and I have great empathy to others, we should forgo the rule of law?
EH: No, but he could be…
T: Most men I know are real men: my husband, his brothers, my father in law, my fellow teachers and teamsters, our whole community. It is safe for me to say I have been the recipient of much love and friendship and respect because of my male friends, not in spite of them. I love them. In an effort to be strong and independent women, those who force ME TOO into every facet of our lives, victimizing themselves and by extension all women, well, we don’t help ourselves be independent thinkers.
ME TOO wants to punish the guilty…good, especially those in power positions, but it shouldn’t put all men or boys into a boorish or criminal category. That’s prejudice. That’s wrong. And nothing seems to be exempt from this screaming. Condemning all men because of ill timed jokes or misreading flirtatious signals… wow. How dull would life be?
EH: While I have you, congresswoman. You’re also pro-guns, at odds with most democrats. Won’t this hurt your bid for reelection in a midterm cycle that is sure to send a democratic majority to the house?
T: The second amendment is a fundamental right. But like anything else, people can abuse that right, and unlike other enumerated restrictions of government, this one can cause devastating loss of life, innocent life, in seconds.
My father was a cop, and my husband is a Marine. Weapons have been a part of my life. My husband, John, is a safety fanatic and very serious about firearms. And I tell you, he loves shooting, for sport and to compete. He’s really competing with himself. He measures his improvement with a variety of pistols from several distances. John has made great friends around his service and this hobby. He is competent and he has encouraged me to be competent also. Most anti-gun rhetoric is from those few who have been victims, sadly, but too many others who are anti- second have no knowledge of how weapons work.
EH: Did your husband train you?
T: After we were married and Jane was born, I expressed an interest in learning how and what and John was delighted. He arranged for me to get professional training from an NRA instructor, who also happens to be a music teacher at the local high school! I worked near that man for years and never knew he was a certified instructor! Good training, all about safety, sight picture, breathing, trigger pressure, all of it.
EH: You enjoy it? Shooting?
T: I like it just fine, and I appreciate the first-hand knowledge. But I don’t go to the range that often; in fact, it been a few years. It’s John’s thing.
EH: Guns at home?
T: Hmmm. How do I say this in a nice way. (COUGH) That’s none of your business.
EH: Well, you are a public figure, and…
T: Fair enough. Any and all weapons we have are licensed, secured appropriately to prevent our children’s access or anyone not intended in our home to have access.
EH: Why not the children?
T: Oh, they’re too young. Jane is old enough, but she has no inkling to be more than oriented, though she agrees that training soon enough is a good idea.
T: Asked and answered. When she’s ready.
EH: The boys?
T: They’re under ten, Eddie. C’mon yourself. I wouldn’t trust the boys most days with just a box of Cheerios and a book of matches. But they know how serious John and I are about weapons, and they won’t cross that line.
EH: I suspect you’re right, congresswoman.
T: I have to run. Thanks for the time!